Himachal Pradesh govt suspends IG Zaidi for pressuring woman IPS officer in Kotkhai custodial death case
On January 8, Soumya Sambasivan, a prosecution witness in the case, told the CBI court that Zaidi has been trying to contact her over phone since September 2019 in a bid to pressure her to change her statementUpdated: Jan 16, 2020 17:38 IST
The Himachal Pradesh government has suspended inspector general of police (IG) Zahur Haider Zaidi, who is an accused in the Kotkhai custodial death case, for pressuring Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Soumya Sambasivan to change her statement.
The suspension orders were issued by the department of home on Wednesday, a week after the special CBI court in Chandigarh directed the state director general of police (DGP) to take appropriate action against Zaidi.
Zaidi was posted as chief executive officer of the state Waqf Board.
On January 8, Sambasivan, a prosecution witness in the custodial death case, told the Central Bureau of Investigation court that Zaidi has been trying to contact her over phone since September 2019. He used the phone of the Shimla police headquarters and made calls from his mobile phone via WhatsApp while trying to contact her and her subordinate staff.
“He continuously tried to pressure me to change my statement and has even said that I should be ready to face a team of lawyers and a 30-page questionnaire, adding that you will not inform this to the CBI (sic),” she alleged.
Sambasivan said that she was so disturbed on the work front that she had to report the matter in urgency to the DGP on December 10, 2019, at Dharamshala.
On the DGP’s intervention, Zaidi stopped calling her up from the police headquarters phone but used some people to contact her reader and personal security officer to know her location on a day to day basis and asked some people to make her speak on the PSO’s mobile.
Sambasivan was provided extra security to reach the court as she claimed that Zaidi used people to influence her and tried to find out her whereabouts through her subordinate staff till her arrival in court.
Zaidi is among nine people indicted by the CBI in the custodial death case of one of the six suspects in the rape and murder of a schoolgirl in Shimla.
IPS officer DW Negi and Himachal Pradesh Police Service officer Manoj Joshi are among the accused.
The Supreme Court granted bail to Zaidi on April 5, 2019. The Himachal Pradesh government revoked his suspension on November 23, 2019, and he was appointed CEO of Waqf Board on November 30.